Softball Set For First Pitch of 2015 This Weekend Against Trio of Teams

LUBBOCK, Tex. – The Western New Mexico University softball team opens the 2015 season against a trio of teams in Mid America Nazarene University, Lubbock Christian University and Oklahoma Panhandle State University this weekend in Lubbock.

WNMU will start against Mid America Nazarene. The Lady Pioneers went 27-15 last season and advanced to the NAIA Opening Round Tournament. Six players hit over .300 last year with Alexis Pacheco the top returning average posting a .325. Their top three batting average leaders all graduated last season. Top two pitchers Megan Schwindler and Taylor Pearcy led the team last year and both return this season. Schwindler held a 1.93 ERA, collected 20 wins and logged 163.1 innings, all of which led the team. Pearcy added 86.1 innings, a 3.73 ERA and five wins. WNMU will play singles games against the Lady Pioneers on Friday and Saturday both at 10 a.m. Central Time.

The Lady Mustangs will then take on Lubbock Christian. The Lady Chaps went 45-10 last season which included three wins against WNMU. Lubbock Christian return their top three offensive players in Ashton Bell, Jessica Loiacano and Morgan Colburn, all of which hit at least .430. The trio started all 55 games and displayed strong power numbers with Loiacano and Colburn each collecting 19 home runs, while Bell added 17 more. Top pitcher Katera Eltsosie returns following a 1.78 ERA, 24 win and 177.1 inning campaign. Bell, in addition to being one of the top offensive threats, also logged 40.1 innings in the circle compiling a 2.60 ERA and six wins. WNMU will play single games Friday at 1 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. Central Time against the Lady Chaps.

The end of the weekend on Sunday WNMU will play two against Oklahoma Panhandle State. The Lady Aggies went 10-37 last season. Salina Galindo is the top offensive returner in terms of batting average posting a .319. Madison Heathington and Samantha Arledge are the top home run returners with nine apiece. Arledge is the top returning pitcher logging 168.1 innings, a 6.26 ERA and eight wins. WNMU will play a doubleheader on Sunday beginning at 1 p.m. Central Time against the Lady Aggies.

WNMU went 16-37 last season and return two players that hit over .300 (Stephanie Higgins (Escondido, CA/Mission Hills High School) .339 and Mary Othon (Tucson, AZ/Desert View High School) .329). Othon tied for the team lead in home runs last season (9) and is the top returning RBI producer (36). Krystal Castillo (Silver City, NM/Silver City) (.294), Davi Martin (Silver City, NM/Silver City) (.293) and Lacy Granger (Carlsbad, NM/Carlsbad) (.286) posted nearly .300 batting averages, while Alicia Enriquez (Gilbert, AZ/Mesquite) led in steals with four. Domi Shone (Gold Canyon, AZ/Mesquite) led the Lady Mustangs in almost every pitching category last season including ERA (5.08), wins (11), appearances (37), game started (26), complete games (16), shutouts (3) and innings pitched (176.1).

Live stats will be available for all games, while video will be available for games against Lubbock Christian only.
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